Thursday, June 18, 2015

Surrender And Live...

Ksyatriya - The Arduous Search for Freedom (2015)

The Australian duo of Ksyatriya got their ball rolling last year with the release of a split EP, featuring themselves and the Malaysia-based Mind (((O))) Reader), titled TRUTH (you can check our thoughts on it right here).  This year, they're back with their first full-length, and as you might guess from the title, it's got more than a slight cosmic bent to the music.  While the songs tend towards lengthiness, Ksyatriya shows some mercy to listeners by splitting the final track, "The Human Ego Must be Obliterated for its Arrogant Reign of Tyranny", into two parts to go down easier (or make for some shuffle-play surprises).
Things start out relatively subdued, though, with the title track slowly humming its way into being with emergent vibrations and melodies weaving themselves together, mostly driven by down-tuned guitar with synth touches bubbling underneath.  By the arrival of the second track, "Hazchem", there's a well-established mood of subtle doom, though the band is quick to overturn any dogmatic preservation of the gloom for its own sake.  Livelier percussion and sharper guitar comes in to break things up, shifting into crushing bass-waves on its way to more transformations.
"Swimming in a Sea of Samsara" prepares the way for the finishing track by going even heavier, letting the bass ring out with reverb to get your bones resonating, and bringing in some higher pitches to contrast once you're well and truly cemented in place.  As the first section of the two-part closer hits, Ksyatriya shakes off the slowness and sets themselves on fire, coming apart quickly at first, but settling back into a smoldering pace of immolation that pulls the album to a close with mind-melting determination.
It's one of those albums that calls for sitting down and really giving it full attention, and while the CD release hasn't yet arrived from the factory, you can get a jump on it with a download from Ksyatriya's BandCamp page.  Save it for a time when you won't be interrupted, let it wash over you, and let yourself go.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Mamaleek, Have A Nice Life, Bell Witch, White Darkness, Abstracter


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